We often hear people talk about whether money can make someone happy or not. But they often neglect some important truths. We are going to discuss today.
“Those who say that money can’t buy happiness never had any.”
~ Samuel L. Jackson
You know this terrible feeling… A heavyweight is pushing down your chest, you can’t breathe…. You feel the tension rising inside of you, your shoulder, your neck…it hurts, and your heart is racing… You feel trapped in what has become your life; there is no way out…
No matter how hard you try to bring a brighter outlook back into your life, there is nothing but confusion… You feel lost, disconnected, wandering without guidance in a dark and despairing place. Despite all your efforts, you just can’t get away from that gloomy cloud of sadness…
This is your life…And it is real! I know exactly how you feel!
Depression and anxiety have been part of my life since my childhood days, but only after my open-heart surgery, a few years ago, was I ready to talk about it.
Stress is a significant cause for persistent unhappiness, lingering sadness, and even Depression.
So what do you think is the most significant source of stress for Americans? Financial concerns and money worries!
Do you know now why you are so sad, unhappy, and depressed? Yes, you’re in a loving relationship and should be happy, but there are tensions every day. You can’t explain it, but it seems to be impossible to have a conversation without friction, almost hostility.
Your kids have needs at school, like art, music programs, and social activities. It all costs money, and you find yourself digging between the couch cushions for spare change.
You miss the contacts to friends you once had, and you wish your kids would be accepted by their peers at school; the reality is you don’t have any real friends, and neither do your kids.
It makes you feel inadequate, guilty, a failure!
You have fallen into a cycle of financial and emotional stress, both feeding each other. Your lack of motivation and strength, commonly found in Depression, heightens your inability to deal with your financial stressors, which only aggravates your financial situation.
And yet, it is all so simple: money can make you happy!
You see, being a human, you have primary physical needs, like food and shelter. Since we don’t trade anymore, such needs are only obtainable through financial means. If money is short, it presents a real threat to your safety, your existence.
But you also have psychological or social needs, like belonging, relationships, and purpose. Like most people in financially difficult situations, your social life sucks and your needs are not met, and neither the ones of your wife or kids.
If your safety and social needs are not filled, you are seriously emotionally stressed and experience persistent unhappiness, lingering sadness, or even Depression.
On the flip side, there is plenty of evidence that by taking the financial stress away from people, experiencing emotional stress, their mental condition can improve significantly.
This is huge because feeling better gives you a chance to reconnect with old friends or find new ones, you will have better days at work and perhaps most important the relationship with your wife and kids will improve.
In other words, you will be a much happier person!
How to Manage Your Money and Reduce Financial Stress to Be Happy
So how do you get out of debt, have money in the bank and be happy?
Two things come to mind…
- Revamp your spending
- Revamp your income
Step 1: Revamp your spending
Create and maintain a budget
A budget is the most critical tool for a healthy financial plan, if you and your family want financial security, following a budget is a must!
A budget helps you to:
- Develop and focus on financial goals.
- Identify bad spending habits.
- Ensures you don’t spend money you don’t have.
- Create savings.
- Be prepared for emergencies.
- Feel confident about your finances.
Commit to spending less
Set up and run your budget for two months to gain an overview of your finances, make adjustments where necessary, and start to save.
After one additional month, analyze again, any room for extra savings? If so, now is time for a further commitment…to save even more!
Here are your three easy steps into saving success:
Step 1: Open a savings account
Step 2: Identify a realistic amount you can save. Be conservative, it is easy to be over-enthusiastic only to realize you can’t keep it up; this would make you feel like you failed again.
Step 3: Boost your savings using the One Percent Strategy. If you successfully saved a certain amount for two months, there is no reason why you could not save just one percent more.
- $100 last month, save $101.00 this month.
- $150 last month, save $151.50 this month
- $200 last month, save $202.00 this month
The following month increase your savings by yet another one percent; and so forth…rinse and repeat! After 12 months you’ll boost your savings by 12 percent!
Step 2: Revamp your income
In the financial world, your “down options” are limited; your “up options” are not. What does that mean?
Down – refers to the money you can put down toward reducing your debt. If you make, $2000/month, after paying all expenses there is only so much you can put towards your debt…if you try to put down more, you have to stop eating or putting gas in your car.
Up – means that you can always make more money, there is no ceiling. The more money you make, the more you can save. Makes sense, right?
The only way to improve your financial situation is to widen the GAP between “what you earn and what you spend”! The wider the GAP, the better you’re off.
Spending less is vital if you are in a crunch, but don’t kid yourself, it is NOT the way out!
I have said this so many times, and I’ll stick to it… “The more money you make, the easier it is to save.”
- People say: “Every penny you save counts.”
- I say: “Every dollar you make counts more”!
Have you ever noticed that the only people who say “Money can’t buy you happiness” or “Money can’t make you happy” are the ones who don’t have any?
OK, so now you need to make extra money, get a side job. Here are some ideas:
Answering Surveys from Home
This is a sweet little gig to make money on the side and from home. Not a huge moneymaker, it is an easy way to make a few bucks in your spare time. There are plenty of survey companies to choose from, like Surveyjunkie or Swagbucks.
Be a Customer Service Rep
You could work for a call center or online chat room, dealing with customers on the phone. Perfect home-based part-time job, sign up at Sykes or Working Solutions.
Many businesses can’t exist without people entering various data into their systems. If you have a computer and you can type then you can do this well-paying job. You will find work through Websites like Freelancer or UpWork.
Are you good in English or any foreign language, math, history, science? If so, you could work as a tutor. Your pay widely depends on what exactly it is that you are teaching.
Reviewing websites is one of the newest ways of making money from home; for your review, you will get paid $10 to $15. You can find work through sites like UserTesting
I use a virtual assistant service myself, and it makes my life so much easier! You could be hired either for just one project or on an ongoing base (such as social media management). Sign up at Freelancer or UpWork.
If you enjoy writing, then this is a fun way of making a few bucks. To get started can be a bit of a challenge, but Websites like Freelancer or UpWork are the perfect place to begin.
Are your English skills excellent (assuming that this would be the language you would do proofreading in)? If so, this could be a perfect side hustle for you! It pays very well and is not that hard to get a foot in the door. Again, excellent places to start are Freelancer or UpWork.
Now that you understand how financial and emotional stress feed each other, do you see how simple it can be to interrupt the circle and break free?
So what are you waiting for? I know you can do it! Eliminate your financial troubles, and create a life you truly enjoy living! Money can make you happy!
This article is not meant to be seen as medical advice. If you suffer from severe depression or your financial debt is out of control, seek professional help!
- http://info.healthways.com/ (PDF)
Author Bio: Wilfried Lehmkuhler is passionate about helping people achieve their dreams; create financial Freedom and a Life they truly love by applying proven success strategies. Wilfried is a blogger, speaker, consultant and accomplished author who has worked with professional athletes and businesses in Europe and North America. You can find him at FinancialFreedomALifeYouLove.com